Expansion of Suffolk primary school underway to create more than 100 extra spaces

Contract wins and construction progress

Edgar Sewter Primary School ground-breaking ceremony

Works to expand a primary school in Suffolk, creating an additional 105 spaces for pupils, are now underway.

The project at Edgar Sewter Primary School in Halesworth, costing in excess of £1 million, will include two extra classrooms, a meeting room and library within a new standalone block.

It is being built by Ipswich-based construction firm, SEH French, with design works completed by Concertus as part of the Suffolk County Council Framework.

Katherine Milk, Executive Headteacher of Edgar Sewter Primary School, part of ASSET Education, said: “We’re very excited to see the expansion of our school underway, providing local pupils with brand new facilities.

“The extra space will allow us to provide more children with the ideal environment to assist with their education.”

The start of work was marked with a turf cutting ceremony attended by pupils and staff from the school, SEH French and Concertus in December 2021.

In addition to the new standalone block, the existing building will be remodelled to provide additional classrooms, a staff room, and external canopies.

Children will also benefit from a brand-new hard play area, new footpaths, and landscaping of the school grounds.

Once the project is complete, the school will have a total of 420 places plus a nursery.

Neil Pryke, Contracts Manager for SEH French, said: “SEH French is always happy to support the local education sector and the project at Edgar Sewter Primary School will do exactly that.

“The additional spaces and facilities will benefit local children for years to come as they enjoy their first stage of education.

“This is a great project to be a part of and we’re very happy to work alongside Concertus once again as part of the Suffolk County Council Framework.”

Liz Harris, Principal Architectural Designer at Concertus Design and Property Consultants, said: “Our design is focused on representing the schools’ surroundings within the colour choices and fabric of the building. The new expansion will provide pupils with energy efficient classrooms with excellent natural light and ventilation.

“This will be a fantastic educational facility which will enhance the existing school accommodation and we look forward to working with Suffolk County Council and SEH French to deliver this project for the local children.”

Rachel Hood, Cabinet Member for Education, SEND and Skills at Suffolk County Council, added: “This school expansion was needed because of the number of new homes being built in the area.

“We have worked with East Suffolk Council to make sure we meet the needs of local families and ensure the local schools’ infrastructure fully supports local population growth.”

The works at Edgar Sewter Primary School are being funded by East Suffolk Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), a charge that local authorities can access to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area.

Cllr David Ritchie, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Planning and Coastal Management said: “Community Infrastructure Levy helps to support essential improvements to schools, health services and community facilities. In September, we allocated £6.3million in Community Infrastructure Levy funding to seven major projects across East Suffolk and four of these projects were required to support growth in Halesworth.

“Many of these projects were educational settings, where improvements are needed to support new developments in the area and help enhance the lives of local families. I am delighted to see this project underway.”

It is expected to be complete in September 2022.

SEH French is a construction company based in Ipswich but operating across East Anglia. As part of One Group Construction, SEH French has delivered countless high-quality projects in sectors including education, commercial, medical, residential, and more.